In my last blog post I talked about Nora as a Saver, a term from the Evolutionary Method. She was easy to identify. Girlfriend is happiest rolled up in a blanket on the couch.
My nine year old, Liam, however, had me stumped. My first guess was Lever, like myself. Levers collaborate and, well, leverage the things and people around us to accomplish what’s needed. We see the big picture so it’s easy to direct, lead….errr micro-manage…
But he is also such an Earner! He wants to make money and he thinks of ways to do it. He is nine years old and would spend a weekend day knocking on neighbors’ doors asking if he can help with any yard work for money. Or planning his next lemonade stand.
But then he saves the money! I’ve borrowed from that kid’s bank account more than once...so maybe he’s a Saver…
And what about when he plans to donate part of his earnings to charity? Does that make him a Giver?
I brought all of these questions to my friend, Erin, founder of Project Evolve, a practitioner of the Evolutionary Method for years.
She reminded me that there are four Currencies. Everyone immediately thinks of money, and that’s one of them, but there’s also relationships, health (also referred to as energy), and time. Everyone values and uses these currencies in different ways.
We riff about it in the video below, where she surprises me, but completely convinces me that Liam is an Investor. Innovation, productivity, success, charm, ability to multiply value, energy, enjoyment...ding, ding, ding… all qualifiers of an Investor and all characteristics of my sweet boy. Most of all, though, he invests in the currencies that he holds most valuable. My guesses would be money and relationships.
Liam’s Lemonade Stands. Do you have a kid interested in having a lemonade stand? Any Natured child could be interested in having a lemonade stand and making some money, but usually they have different motivations and it boils down to which currency they value the most.
Nora is a Saver, but she doesn’t have a ton of money saved and isn’t necessarily drawn to a lemonade stand because her motivation is to save her time and energy for what she likes to do -- play with friends. (Relationships.)
Liam values money and relationships, so he usually buddies up and splits the earnings from a lemonade stand. He’s an Investor, so he invests time and energy into making sure the product is good, the poster has all the details, the spot is perfect… and works easily with his friend to rake in the cash. (And whoa, he does.) He gets his return on his investment by padding his wallet and having fun with a friend.
Teach your kids about overhead! You can be their investor and help them get the lemonade, provide the table, and front the change for the drawer. Explain that after the stand is done they will owe the cost of the lemonade and the amount that started in the cash drawer. Anything left over is their profit.
That lesson can be a tough one the first time and we don’t need to completely crush our nine year olds with the reality of net profit, ruining their entrepreneurial spirit forever, so when he counted out the money for the lemonade and then the money for the drawer and looked meekly at the couple of dollars left in his hands, I took the opportunity to give the lemonade overhead back and tell him that I’m donating the lemonade this time and that he can use the profit to reinvest into the next venture.
Sometimes our lessons can just be with Love and not Tough Love.